Designers are Collaborating with Street Style Personalities to Reinforce their Runway Messages Quickly

By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

The world is moving fast and today’s smart design houses are recognizing how to move with it. No sooner had Dean and Dan Caten closed out their Milan DSquared2 show than style maven Anna Dello Russo was photographed on the streets of Paris wearing a coat fresh off their runway. Those street style photos happened just two days after their show and the result was double exposure for one of their most iconic looks from the runway as well as positive reinforcement for retailers and consumers alike.runway to realway 2.001

The move marks the growing power of the influence of street style mavens as some like Anna Dello Russo reach close to a million fans. And that is just her personal network as countless online and print publications run photos of her and others as they network the shows. Those numbers stack up and best in class marketers are recognizing the opportunities these street style mavens present and are reacting quickly to leverage.

We are used to traveling a lot and realize more and more how much people in the streets with their different styles inspire our work, as well as inspiring the styles of the others. At the same time, according to our experience, the streets can be a powerful means that gives to our creations cool and focused exposure. We thought this could be a very smart marketing strategy, a way to interact with new targets and tell something about our brand and us in a more spontaneous way.

Dean and Dan Caten - DSquared2

DSquared2 wasn’t the only house this season that found their runway looks walking off the catwalk and onto the streets as the houses of Delpozo and Peter Pilotto did as well. Delpozo’s marquee sweater was spotted on mega street style maven Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad, whose personal reach is over 4.6 million. Her validation of the look goes a long way to supporting the sales force at Delpozo as more and more retailers will tell you, social media influencers matter.runway to realway images.002

For British design house Peter Pilotto, timing came into play when 12 days after their London show, Sofia Sanchez de Betak was photographed on the street wearing their Fall 2015 opening look while she was in Paris.runway to realway images.003

Sofia has a great sense of personal style, and is a friend; for us it is not so much about street-style as it is about a confident woman wearing our designs in her own way, celebrating fashion – and what better time to do this than during the shows.

Christopher De Vos, Co-Designer, Peter Pilotto

Street Style Mavens, as The Impression likes to refer to them, are a relatively new element in the fashion eco-system. While many labels focus on dressing models, they may be missing the bigger opportunity. Models are like professional athletes in that they are typically of a certain age, are paid to play, and while some certainly wear and promote luxury goods in their off time, the majority leave their uniforms in their lockers, opting for street uniforms of jeggings and tee shirts.

At the other end of the spectrum are the Street Style Mavens, who play a central and healthy role in that they actually wear and promote the looks from the runway. These mavens are the socialites of the new era. But, unlike their predecessors of the 80’s, they are actively involved in the sales and promotion process. They leverage new media to promote themselves as brands and monetize through partnerships, modeling, and affiliate sales. While from the outside their efforts may not seem like much effort, the truth is growing a social reach and developing content to keep fans engaged daily is work. Many of them change outfits 3 times daily during fashion weeks to help fuel the digital age’s need for more.

Smart brands like DSquared2, Delpozo, and Peter Pilotto recognize an opportunity when they see it and are working their relationships to synch up and develop win-wins with these new content creators. Ultimately those wins translate to impressions and we all know where impressions lead.